KHARKIV OBLAST, UKRAINE, May 10 — There is no danger of Russian ground assault on Kharkiv because Russians do not have enough offensive potential, said Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov.

The Russian army started a new offensive in the northern area of Kharkiv oblast. According to local authorities, they’ve been gathering forces north of the region for at least ten months, but it won’t be enough to take Kharkiv. 

“Our combat brigades met the enemy with fire. All offensive attacks are fought off,” Syniehubov said. “As of now, no territorial losses have been allowed. The settlements [where there’s combat] are 1-2 km from Russia’s border. Currently, there’s active fighting there.”

Syniehubov encourages residents of the border communities to evacuate to safe places

“All border communities, all settlements are a “gray zone,” Syniehubov said, noting that the situation on the Kupiansk axis is similar. “[We] shouldn’t compare it to February 24, 2022.” 

According to Syniehubov, Russians don’t have the forces to launch a ground assault on Kharkiv, like they did at the beginning of the full-scale invasion. “The Kharkiv region is prepared differently. All the enemy can do for now is attack with small groups,” Syniehubov added. 

On May 10, Zelenskyy confirmed Russia launched tries to advance north of the Kharkiv region. The Defense Ministry of Ukraine reported that, as of 1:00 p.m., Ukrainians repelled all Russian attacks in Slobozhanskyi direction, but combat clashes of varying intensity continued. 

Syniehubov reports that, at around 10 a.m., Russia shelled Vovchansk and injured two civilians. At 12:50, they attacked Cherkasky Tyshky of Kharkiv district and killed a 55-year-old man. At 1:22 p.m., Russian troops hit Vovchansk again, damaging private houses, killing a civilian man, and injuring three people.

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  • Deputy chief of Ukrainian military intelligence agency Vadym Skibitskyi said in an interview with Economist, published on May 2, that Russian troops are preparing for an assault on the Kharkiv and Sumy regions, presumably at the end of May or in June 2024.